AET issued government warning over troubled school

Trust told it must show 'capacity to deliver rapid and sustained improvement'

Trust told it must show 'capacity to deliver rapid and sustained improvement'

The country’s third largest academy trusts has been warned its funding may be terminated for a troubled school put in special measures last month.

The government issued Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) with a termination warning notice on Monday, published today, over Tendring Technology College.

The school, in Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, was rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted in February.

Girls told inspectors they faced abusive language from “over-sexualised” boys, with homophobic abuse also reported during a November visit.

Earlier that year staff and pupils at the school had taken to the picket line for three days of protests against a proposed restructure by AET.

Sue Baldwin, regional schools commissioner for the East of England and North-East London, said she needs to be “satisfied that the trust has capacity to deliver rapid and sustainable improvement at the academy.

“If I am not satisfied that this can be achieved, I will consider whether to terminate the funding agreement in order to transfer the academy to an alternative academy trust.”

The trust has until March 28 to make its case to keep the school.

Inspectors said Tendring’s safeguarding arrangements were “not effective” and “until recently, safeguarding leaders have not had the capacity to carry out all their duties effectively”.

“Pupils told inspectors that if you are ‘different’ you will be subject to bullying and offensive language,” the report stated.

Girls said that “not enough is done to prevent boys from using abusive language towards them, or to deal with the over-sexualised behaviour of a small minority of boys”.

AET said the school, which has 1,829 pupils on roll across two sites, has “had a really difficult few years, and there were clearly improvements that needed to be made”.

Ofsted said AET’s more recent “decisive action” at Tendring was contributing to the school, rated ‘good’ during its last full inspection in 2016, becoming “more settled” after a “turbulent period”.

AET said today they “welcome the increased level of monitoring from the Department for Education to make sure we are making the changes that need to be made, and doing it quickly.

“Everyone at AET is committed to ensuring that TTC, once again, becomes the excellent school that local families deserve.”

Whilst government accountability is “important, nothing matters more than our accountability to our parents and families and we look forward to building a closer and more constructive relationship with them over the coming weeks and months”.

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